Steel Phantoms EP by Steel Phantoms

July 16. 2013 | By Nori Bell-Bhuiyan

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Steel Phantoms
Steel Phantoms EP (2013)
[Self-Released]

Indie rock duo Steel Phantoms have been doing the rounds in Brooklyn ever since the release of their Forer EP in 2011 proved that there’s still a place in the music world for pared-back, well-written simple rock songs.

Now ex-Islands drummer and vocalist Aaron Harris and guitarist Jesse Newkirk are set to release the band’s seven song long (second) self-titled EP. The album starts of in force with the frantic guitar-driven lead single “Curtain Call” that, instrumentally speaking, brings to mind a grungier Walkmen – and comes along with a remarkably funny and well-produced music video about a boy choosing TV over real life. Following single “Matt LeBlanc” displays a similar combination of fervid charismatic vocals overlying Newkirk’s skillfully executed guitar work, and as with the rest of the album, everything is underlined by Harris’ precise and tight percussion.

The EP’s only real fault is a lack of standout moments. Seven songs makes for a rather long EP, and stylistically there’s not that much variation between tracks. If you ask us, Steel Phantoms are compromising between a smaller EP and a full-length album. They may have been better off with one or the other.

Nevertheless, the talent here is clear, this is a band that hails to the likes of XTC and Sonic Youth, and makes a welcome break from the land of EDM.

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